Box Office: 'Ouija' Tops 'Nightcrawler' On Halloween Friday With $3.5M, 'Saw' Tanks

November 1, 2014 3:31 PM

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I have long argued that rank doesn’t matter. But for the sake of the increased publicity that Open Roads’ Nightcrawler will receive for (I’m guessing) topping the box office with its $3.2 million Friday (behind Ouija for the night) and likely $11-$12m weekend (just ahead of what I’m guessing is a $10.5m weekend for Ouija), the smaller studio deserves a token acknowledgement in terms of savvy release date musical chairs. In a normal weekend, with a handful of new releases and something somewhere earning around $20 million or more, Nightcrawler would have been that great film that struggled to get much attention. But as basically the only major new wide release of the weekend, the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller capitalized on superb reviews and a vaguely “scary” marketing campaign to become the de-facto Halloween movie of choice for the weekend. The picture cost just $8.5m to produce which is a number it should clear by the end of today. Gyllenhaal is generally good for around $10-12m on an opening in a lower-profile film like this (think End of Watch or Source Code), so this is right in his wheelhouse.

Again, had it pulled in the same $11-12m opening weekend next weekend, it would have been eclipsed by Big Hero 6 and Interstellar. But this weekend it is the so-called top film, and Open Road Films deserves credit for cannily scheduling a somewhat unconventional thriller in a weekend where it wouldn...

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